View Full Version : when/if to cold call 3-bet from SB after completing

11-24-2004, 01:15 PM
Here's the situation:

3/6 B&M game of the loose passive variety.

I get 54o in SB. UTG limps, as do five other players. I complete. BB raises. UTG 3-bets. The five other limpers fold. I fold.

Given the dead money in the pot (11 small bets at this point), should I have folded this hand or cold-called the two bets? If not, what quality of hand do I need to make calling two cold in this situation worthwhile? How much more dead money would need to be in the pot to make my current hand playable? How much should I factor in a potential cap from BB?

This is probably an easy answer for some of you, which is why I'm asking.

11-24-2004, 03:01 PM
I'm not sure what kind of an anwser you're looking for, since you posted in the probability forum. But without using probability, I could just tell you what I'd do. (I'm sure the right thing to do is an entirely different matter. /images/graemlins/smile.gif)

The only hands with which I might cold call two in this situation (depending on what I know about UTG -- I've seen a lot of idiots limp-reraise for no apparent reason at all) is 77, 88, JTs, and QTs. And even these hands don't look so good once all the limpers fold. Any other hand, I would either fold, or I would have probably raised it in the first place. If it's a really loose game, I might call with any pocket pair.

11-24-2004, 03:05 PM
I don't think even completeing a bet with 54o is a good idea from the small blind. To win you need to hit 2 pair, trips or a straight... all long shots. You are investing too much even with 5 other players in the hand because you are playing from way behind. With hands that have low high card strength you really want a combination of connectedness and suitedness before you invest in them. You might convinve yourself that calling half a bet is a marginal decision that will not lose you too much in the end, but calling two more is ridiculous. There is a lot of money in the pot but your pot equity is not going to be anywhere near your investment. To be blunt 54o is a crappy hand don't play it ever from any position (unless trying to steal). End of Story...

And I would love to see how someone qunatifies a question like this in a more clear and precise way. i.e. what are the chances of 5-4o hitting a hand that is playable (at least two-pair) and more intriguingly what are the chances of this hand winning against a field of 5 other players (not knowing the other players hands is there a good way to quantify this? Do you take some average of all the possible hand combinations or what would seem even more precise would be a weighted average of all the hands based on how likely they are to be played in each position...)

11-24-2004, 06:47 PM
Your argument about not completing the initial bet is compelling. I don't make a habit of playing the hand, but the 10-1 odds I was getting on the call was enticing. I was mostly thinking of implied odds on an OESD, given I was in perfect checkraise position if I flopped it, plus that I'd have a great price on a gutshot. I didn't expect any kind of subsequent pre-flop action.

I was interested in the math in that what hand makes the cold call play worthwhile. Certainly not 54o, but what suited connector, say, would be playable for the price of the call? It got me curious, because my first instinct would be to fold a lot of hands in this position, but I'm wondering where I'd be making an imporoper fold.

11-24-2004, 11:08 PM
If I read this right you had utg + 5 players + BB for a total of 7 Sb (+ your half bet) in the pot before you completed giving you 15 to 1 immediate pot odds (assuming a 1/2 blind structure)

Easy completion once you factor in implied odds. But implied odds are the killer when it gets to calling raises.

Just to make it easy to follow assume you need 20 to 1 to break even on the preflop bet. So even if you were getting 10 to 1 preflop on the initial completion not too bad (and I'll use that number for the rest of this). Assuming you make your hand you need to extract a total of 10 SB from the field (.5 *20). Since you already have 5 SB in the pot extracting an additional 5 SB total should be fairly easy.

But what happens when you call the 3 bet?. Now you need to extract 2.5 * 20 = 50 SB or 25 BB total from the field. Even if all 5 had called that would only place 15 SB of potential profit in the pot. Meaning you need to get an additional 35 SB from the pot if you hit your hand.

Now that's a tough nut to crack. Even if you called only 1 raise that would still mean you need a total of 30 SB profit. With 10 SB in the pot (if all called) you would still need 20 additional SB profit.

This shows why I will sometimes complete with a marginal hand from the SB but fold the hand if the BB raises, even if the entire field calls. Raises destroy your implied odds, and completing very marginal hands from the SB is all about implied odds.

11-25-2004, 01:46 AM
Thanks for the analysis. I would have been wrong to call even one bet, let alone two.

How good would a hand have to be to justify this? Is there a hand that you'd complete with on one end and call 2 bets on the other? Perhaps there isn't one.

11-25-2004, 08:37 AM
I am starting to study this kind of thing. STARTING. So anyone can critique my errors freely!

I think it's a lot closer than some people are saying. First, the completion is most probably fine. A lot of players wont play 54o ever (currently me), but at the same time, a world class pro like Doyle Brunson WOULD, as would another world class pro like Andy Bloc. Doyle says in Super System that with the right odds, he'll take a shot at the flop with connectors, ESPECIALLY suited ones (which implies that he calls w/ unsuited ones)...you've got the odds, and 54o happens to be the lowest connectors Doyle will play (and pretty much the worst playable unsuited connector). Andy Bloc is known as a "calling station" as he'll call 2 7o if he's getting the odds. Your initial completion was about 13:1 if I remember correctly (.5 of 7 as your SB is rake, or at least it is in my games), and your average odds to win against 7 opponents is 9.2:1. Even given reverse implied odds situations, I would say because of implied odds, this is certainly a fine call...what do others think with regard to the probability (not just the suckiness of the starting hand)?

Second, if the raise had been from EP, and the 3-bet from the BB, then I think it would be easier to see if the 3-bet is a call or not because you would better be able to put your opponent on particular hands (plus we have no strong reads from you). But with a BB raise and a 3-bet from a limper, I mean, what range of hands do these guys have? Will the BB 4-bet? I think the reversed implied odds of calling seem too great from a brief look at the situation. UTG could have any mid PP as well as any decent suited connector, all the way up to KJs or Axs, right? BB could have many hands as well from what we know (or more aptly, what we do not know).

Contrastingly, if you had a great read on the players, and you knew there would be no cap, it would be easier to see if you should call. You would take the hand ranges that they could have, find out what average % of the time you win against the possible combinations, and how much it costs you when you lose your hands. The average gain/loss is your equity.

If you are up against AA and KK, just for example's sake, you still have 5.5:1 odds to win, or a 15.68% win rate. Your call of the 3-bet seems to be either 4.5:1 or 3.33:1. Again, your read on the BB is important, but assuming that 85% of the time there is no cap, and 15% there is a cap, you are getting immediate odds of about 4.29:1 to call. From this information alone, it seems like it's a clear fold as you don't have the immediate odds. But I think your implied odds may justify a call. Should you flop a pair and hit 2 p by the R, or flop 2 p, or flop an OESD, or a gut and pair, or even a gut (perhaps), I think that the % time you hit those would outweight your losses (including reverse implied odds situations).

But that is not as specific as you need to be.

What I would do if I were you are these calculations:

1. Hand ranges for UTG and BB.
2. Win % ave. vs. all combos of their hand ranges.
3. Reverse Implied Odds/Implied Odds calculations.
a) Flop pair % (32.43)
b) % time quit on turn if unimproved (probably small %) and ave. loss
c) When see R:
1. win% and lose%
2. % no improve and loss (assuming fold R unimproved)
3. % 2p by R and win (what ave. gain?)
4. % 2p and lose (what ave. loss?)
5. % trips and ave. win amount
6. % trips and ave lose amount

**Repeat this kind of multi-step assessment with at least:

flop straight draw % (open-ended/double gutted)
flop gut draw and pair %
flop gut %

So, I think finding your true equity against these two opponents is critical to a decision, and anyone who says flatly to fold without knowing this is putting themselves in the category of what one respected 2+2er said was the difference between great players (successful 15/30) and top players (excelling 15/30+). I'm sure some may have stated it's a fold because it may be obvious to them, but for me, I want to learn mathematically why.

I would readily appeciate all thoughts on this kind of situation.

Mike Haven
11-25-2004, 03:38 PM
Should you flop a pair and hit 2 p by the R ...

i think it was a good call and a good fold in the circumstances described

on the other hand if you think that if you catch only a pair of fours or fives with a five or a four kicker you might be tempted to chase it to the river then you should avoid temptation and not call in the first place

11-26-2004, 08:09 AM
I can see why that conclusion would be sound advice, and that's how I "feel" the hand should be played...but how do we come to that conclusion mathematically? I mean, with what odds would you personally chase with a pair and a 5 kicker, you know?

11-26-2004, 10:34 AM
Another factor I was discussing with my friend over Thanksgiving dinner (much to everyone's distinterest) is that in the SB I may get caught in the middle of a raising war on the flop and/or the turn if I hit enough of my hand on the flop. Say the flop comes K54 or K63 and the betting goes check-bet-raise. Now I have to call two bets with an OESD, and now BB makes it 3 and UTG caps. Etc.

Mike Haven
11-27-2004, 11:40 AM
it's difficult to see what these guys would have that you could beat more than a third of the time with a single pair on the flop, so in the best case you would need over 2 to 1 on your future bets

this seems ok on the surface, but even if you hit your two pairs of fives and fours you couldn't be comfortable with it, so it would always be a call and hope hand

if either one of them has a K, or even only a pair of sixes, on a K95 flop you need maybe 7 to 1 on your total future bets to make chasing worthwhile - which is almost impossible to achieve

it may well be that i am wrong in my math by a point or two, but poker is a long game and shrugging off the half-bet completion as an unfortunate loss is far better in the circumstances of this particular hand than embarking on a long and potentially expensive chase, however you wrap it up in theoretical percentages and if maybes


11-27-2004, 12:45 PM
True words. Earlier in my playing career on a 3-6 table I completed out of the SB with 96o in a big multiway pot. Ended up with odd to chase a gutshot straight, caught the straight on the river, checkraised then got reraised by a better straight. The hand cost me $39. I don't mess around in the SB very much anymore, or at least I try not to.